August 22, 2005 - A leaked internal audit assessing the World Bank's involvement in a controversial Canadian gold mine in Guatemala has exposed glaring deficiencies in the due diligence undertaken by the Bank prior to approving a $45 million loan for the mine.
Glamis Gold's Marlin mine in the Western Highlands of Guatemala has been plagued with controversy since the outset. In March, the Compliance Advisory Ombudsman (CAO), the internal auditor for the Bank's private sector lending arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), began an investigation after receiving local complaints about the mine.
Internal Review Slams World Bank over Lapses at Guatemala Mine - Backgrounder
August 22, 2005
A forthcoming report by the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO), a body responsible for conducting internal reviews at the World Bank’s private sector lending arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), identifies glaring deficiencies in the due diligence the institution conducted for a controversial new gold-mining project in Guatemala. The project, currently under construction by Canadian company Glamis Gold in Guatemala’s indigenous western highlands, has been surrounded by controversy and conflict since before the IFC approved $45 million in support for the project in June 2004. In January of this year, a forty-day protest by local villagers worried about the mine’s potential environmental impacts ended in bloodshed as security forces clashed with protesters, resulting in one death and dozens of injuries.
Mr. Gino Alzetta
Belgian Executive Director to the World Bank
Office of the British Executive Director to the World Bank
1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433, USA
Dear Mr. Alzetta,
Thank you for taking the time to meet with us during the week of spring meetings, April 10th to the 16th. We appreciate the opportunity to share our concerns regarding World Bank Group (WBG) support for Glamis Gold's Marlin Mine in Guatemala. We are writing to: (i) update you on our conversations with the staff of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) during our meeting with them on Thursday April 14th; (ii) identify areas of ongoing concern, and; (iii) request your support in resolving problems surrounding this project.
Halifax Initiative Analysis of Finance Canada Report to Parliament on Bretton Woods institutions
On the eve of the annual spring meetings of the World Bank (WB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, DC, the Halifax Initiative Coalition (HI) released a new report critical of how the federal government publicly reports to Canadians about its relations with the WB and IMF. The federal government is required, by an act of Parliament, to report to Parliament on the operations of the Bretton Woods institutions (BWI) annually. The government report for 2004 was released on March 22, 2005.
Mr. Marcel Mass
Canadian Executive Director
World Bank Group
MC-12-175, 1818 H St. N.W.,
Washington, DC 20433, USA
Fax: (202) 477-4155
Re: Deaths linked to IFC-funded Glamis gold mine
Dear Mr. Mass
On behalf of the Halifax Initiative Coalition, I am writing to bring to your attention the reported tragic death on January 11 of at least one Guatemalan citizen who was blockading the road leading to the International Finance Corporation (IFC)-funded Marlin gold mine in the western highlands of Guatemala.
Marlin Gold is being operated by Montana Exploradora de Guatemala, S.A., a 100% subsidiary of Glamis Gold, a Canadian company trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange. On June 3, 2004, IFC's Board approved $45 million in support for the greenfield project.
Chirac Proposes International Taxes to Fight Poverty
French President Jacques Chirac, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, called on all developed countries to substantially increase aid budgets to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Taxes designed to skim some of the wealth generated by globalization include levies on crossborder financial transactions, taxing aviation and shipping fuel, environmental taxes and air travel charges.
International Finance Corporation Review
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private lending arm of the World Bank, is in the process of revising its social, environmental, and disclosure policies. These policies are currently the de facto international standards for export credit agencies, the Equator Principle banks, and the IFC - touching upon nearly three quarters of all international public and private project finance. The new Performance Standards are better integrated than the IFC's predecessor, the safeguards, but groups have individually challenged them on a number of fronts.
Tony Blair calls Africa a scar on the conscience of the world. Gordon Brown has a means for healing that scar through a doubling of aid. The chancellor says his international financing facility (IFF) is the only game in town, but so far the teams are still stuck in the dressing room.
High Level World Bank Review calls for the phase out of World Bank involvement in oil exploitation and coal mining
Bank Management to ignore recommendations says leaked report
(Ottawa) February 9th, 2004 -- Conforming to industry’s desires, the World Bank management is pushing to have its Board of Directors reject the recommendations of an independent review of its performance in the oil, coal, and mining sectors, according to a leaked report. The World Bank’s Management Response to the Extractive Industries Review (EIR) was leaked last week.